Looking for easiest way to move settings (i.e. network, bookmarks for Firefox, outlook express mail), files, etc to a new OS

I was having miscellaneous problems with a previous system (Windows 2000 Pro), so picked up a new system/hardware, did a fresh install of Windows 2000 Pro, and now face the task of reinstalling software and tranferring settings/files to the new system.  What is the easiest /quickest / relatively comprehensive way to do this?  Would be nice to do this with Windows 2000 Pro, but do not mind purchasing software that specifically does this type of thing?  Any ideas or recommendations?  Bottom line is that I'm lazy and looking for the easy/quick way out.  Thank you!  

**I am networked, and have an large capacity external hard drive for possible solutions
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Hi hiloguy,

ah well if you are networked and have file sharing available this should be relatively easy...

in regards to profiles, you need to log in as your new user on the new machine to create profile then log out,

on the original machine, log in as an admin user and under properties of my computer select advanced - user profiles, select your user and select copy to

point it to the c:\documents and settings\user folder on the new machine and select ok

this will copy over the entire profile, files, favourties, shortcuts, settings everything to do with profile


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Thats only part of it Jay Jay.

You will also need to find out if the user saves files anywhere else other than c:\documents and settings\user folder.

Also copy over folders where software may back up data (even thought these should be on a server).  If the user using *.pst for their mail then of course back these up to.

At the end of it I would get the user to test the software and make sure all the settings are in place and then in a week or two check to see if everything is okay and then rebuild the other machine.

Do not know of any software that can do this any easier than the manual process.
if you also need to set every program you installed, you need to back in time and copy the settings for everyone apart.
some of them have option for this, others do not and must copy the coresponding key from the registry editor
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ or if it do not exist search for program's configuration files.
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there is only two PC's mentioned an server so i figured there was no redirection....

Appz will not work as they register themselves in the compter registry..... though saying that some may if you copy the folders over, but i would always reinstall

PST files are irrelivant as OE was mentioned and these are stored as DBX files within the user profile

if there is more files then hiloguy would know where they are stored and can transfer them over, sounds like it is his PC that he is working on - but i could be wrong of course...

didnt mean that to sound rude at all either :)
hiloguyAuthor Commented:
Thanks all.  I need time to mull this over.  Don't have time right now to work on this.  Will do within the next day or so.  I'll let you all know if any problems.  Otherwise I'll keep an eye on input here.  Appreciate the help.

Oops yeah it does mention OE (so my mistake).  I would always reinstall programs/apps, but what I was trying to say is the data that these programs create may also need to be transferred over.

P.S.  He did mention network and I am never rude ;)
good valid point also :)

network yes, server no :) figured it was just P2P

cheers Nzarth

Rob WilliamsCommented:
Sounds like good advise above, and probably best route for a single user, but if you wish to look at a 3rd party application ProfWiz is free and designed to share or move profiles.
Use the FSTW, File and Setting Transfer Wizard, that comes with the OS. with XP it is better, but search on the MS site and check out the instructions.

if you have a network, this should be relatively simple.

Good Luck,

hiloguyAuthor Commented:
Thanks all for the good advice.  I didn't think FSTW was available with Windows 2000 Pro?  I am on a  P2P network.  Thanks Rob, I'll check it out later.    

I attempted to move over c:\documents and settings\Administrator from my current computer to  e:\documents and settings\Administrator on the new system.  However I am having a bit of trouble with the transfer, when moving over the network or moving to external HD.  Examples of error messages include:

"Cannot copy _____________":  There has been a sharing violation.  The source or destination file may be in use"  

I'm working on the computers via VNC right now, but I did attempt directly from the computer earlier this morning with similar message.  Any ideas?  Appreciate the help.  
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Were you copying the files using the profile copy method as suggested by Jay_Jay70 or just a basic file copy. The error will occur when you try to use a simple file copy or if the profile is in use. Use Jay_Jay70's instructions and make sure you are not logged on as a user you are copying from or to.

The "File and Setting Transfer Wizard" will allow you to copy from 2000 to XP but I don't believe it will work 2000 to 2000. Seems to me there was a similar application included with the Windows 2000 Resource Kit, a File and Setting Transfer Wizard predecessor.
hiloguyAuthor Commented:
Thanks Rob.  I guess I need to read better.  I did a basic file copy.  I need to try again later when I can log in under a different profile.  I think I have the basic idea down though and will advise if problems tonight.  Thanks all.  
hiloguyAuthor Commented:
Thanks all.  Looks like the Profile copy worked, once I tweaked with the network, and logged in as a different user from the profile that was copied.  Looks like I just need to install some applications.  But so far so good.  Appreciated all the help.

Rob WilliamsCommented:
Thanks hiloguy. Yes applications have to be installed so the correct registry entries are made. Good luck.
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